I originally found my passion for helping others while being a "counselor" in a peer counseling program in junior high. Since then my passion has only increased and have now been professionally in the mental health field for over 10 years. I have been in private practice for 7 years and have previously worked in non-profit, residential and crisis unit settings. I pride myself in supporting my clients address their symptoms but also building a sense of resiliency, which is the ability to adapt and "bounce back" from anything.
We all know adulting can be hard sometimes. Whether it's your first time living on your own or you're in your 30's or 50's. Life can throw you curve balls at any stage of life.
My experience working with adult clients includes helping to improve moods, managing anxiety, coping with loss or just being a sounding board for any tough decisions you are facing. I also have experiencing supporting clients that are wishing to explore major life adjustments, figuring out the right path in life or healing past or present traumas.
My passion to work with first responders came after hearing an officer's story about the heavy stigma and fear attached to going to therapy. It's important to me to be that therapist that gets the first responder culture and not be another bad counseling experience I have heard too much about. I also come from a family of first responders and have witnessed the pressure these individuals face everyday. This has helped me develop a personal understanding of what happens behind the badge beyond my professional experience. I have great respect for their need for privacy and thrive to provide a comfortable setting for them. I have experience helping those to manage the stressors of the job to providing a safe debriefing environment to helping maintain a healthy work-life balance.
By being a first responder it means that you see and experience things that most don't. At times your brain will process these events well and sometimes it won't. There is no shame in the reality that you can't control how your mind or body will react to things. Please know that there are easy and simple ways to heal these events so they are no longer impact your mood, sleep or relationships.
I also have experience working with families of first responders to help maintain a healthy and supportive relationship as well as coping with the unique stressors first responder families face.
I have always had a passion for working with teens. You can say I have the ability to speak teenager which has led to great success in helping teens as well as helping parents understand their teens. In the beginning of my career I found a unique passion in working with teens that have self harm behaviors. Self harm is a scary topic for most parents, rest assured that there are many techniques to help your teen through this.
Just like adults, teens can benefit from therapy and additional support to address any mood issues, coping with peers and transitioning into adulthood.
For parents I have found that utilizing a therapist to help "translate" between you and your teen is extremely helpful. Although I focus on individual sessions with my teen clients, there is always a collaboration between myself and the parent to give you insight into what your teen is experiencing or needs.
I am trained in the following treatment models. For more information there is a link attached.
Certified First Responder Counselor
Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) (additional informational videos on resource page)
Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TFCBT)
Teen Triple P: Positive Parenting Program
I have previously been a board member/volunteer for the following organizations:
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP): Sacramento Chapter
Redding CA Association of Marriage & Family Therapists (RRC-CAMFT)
Redding Out of the Darkness Walk
Shasta County Suicide Prevention Workgroup
Superior Northern CA EMDR Regional Network
PO Box 1373 Seaside, CA 93955
Copyright © 2018 Cyndi McDonald, MA, LMFT, LPCC - All Rights Reserved.
Please note that I am not able to accept any new clients at this time and am no longer located in the Monterey area. If you are a previous client, please use the contact form to get in touch.